Seven Kings ‘smothered’ in rats

Rats are becoming a serious problem in Seven Kings according to residents and workers, after several recent sightings.

A large rat was seen in Highbury Gardens and workers in High Road report seeing them frequently on the busy road and in car parks.

Redbridge Council received 100 call-outs to residential premises in Seven Kings between April 2011 and 2012 alone.

Former street sweeper Danny O’Brien said the vermin have been a problem for the 13 years he’s lived in the area.

He said: “When I worked as a sweeper the car park by the Seven Kings toilets was smothered with rats every morning.

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“The road sweepers have to beat the bins to get the rats out before they empty them. And we’re not talking about little things here, they’re as big as my foot.

“As it gets to the summer and the weather warms up there seems to be an increase in numbers.”

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Brown rats carry diseases and can jump, climb and swim. They reproduce extremely fast and one pair can multiply to 200 in a year.

Workers on the High Road report the rodents living near the railway.

A garage worker, who did not want to be named, said: “I think they’re coming from the railway line, they’re always on railways.

“They come off the railway and find themselves on the High Road looking for food. It’s disgusting.”

Mr O’Brien also thinks food is an attraction to the area.

He said: “I’m not saying it’s dirty here but if you look at the amount of takeaways and the amount of food that gets chucked away it’s hardly surprising there’s rats.

“I think something should be done because it’s a health risk.”

While Redbridge Council provides free rat control for homes, businesses must hire their own services.

A council spokesman said: “If rats are seen in or around a premises the sightings can be reported by calling the council and requesting a free treatment service.

“If the call is received before 3pm, a next day appointment will be made for treatment to be carried out.”

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